United States airdate: March 5, 2004
Canada airdate: May 14, 2004
A look into the prehistoric life of Bikini Bottom, following the misadventures of SpongeGar, Patar, and Squog as they discover fire.
Comtains examples of:
- All Cavemen Were Neanderthals: This episode depicts prehistoric versions of SpongeBob and Patrick, with the prehistoric starfish larger than his modern counterpart but the prehistoric sponge being more primitive but not physically much different than SpongeBob. Squog (Squidward's ancestor) isn't much different than his modern counterpart except in language use. Then they discover fire... underwater.
- Balloon Belly: After spending the entire day cooking and eating everything in sight, SpongeGar, Patar and Squog all wind up lying around the fire with massive, bloated stomachs.
- Big Eater: After seeing how useful fire is for cooking, Spongegar, Patar and Squog spend a good chunk of the episode making a meal out of anything they can find.
- The Cameo
- A small, prehistoric counterpart of Mr. Krabs makes a cameo before SpongeGar proceeds to step on him, cook him and eat him. (And a bunch more hiding under a rock.)
- Patrick's voice actor Bill Fagerbakke plays the live-action role of the cave man.
- "Cavemen vs. Astronauts" Debate: Taken quite literally between Patchy and Potty. Patchy thinks prehistory is better, while Potty prefers the future. At one point Patchy thaws out a caveman, while Potty uses a time machine to retrieve a robot from the future, who scares the caveman. Eventually, both caveman and robot become friends and do a rap number together.
- Clapper Gag: At one point, Spongegar and Patar keep clapping repeatedly and turn the rain on and off, until they do it one time too many and it doesn't stop.
- Continuity Nod: Prehistoric versions of SpongeBob and Patrick first appeared in "SB-129", albeit they were more primitive than the ones seen here.
- Eat Dirt, Cheap: Our three protagonists have no problem cooking and eating rocks, sand and dirt.
- Extreme Omnivore: Spongegar, Patar and Squog gleefully cook and eat pretty much anything around them, from edible matter to even stones (which pop like popcorn), Krabby Patties made out of sand and wood.
- Flintstone Theming: The gimmick of the whole cartoon. For example, Spongebob's iconic fog horn alarm is now a noise made by prehistoric cetaceans and Krabby Patties are clumps of sand pulled from the ground which vaguely resemble hamburgers.
- Fun with Acronyms: The B.C. in the special's name stands for "Before Comedy".
- Human Popsicle: The live-action caveman was this until Patchy thawed him out with his mom's hairdryer.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Exaggerated with the robot and the caveman in the live action segments. The robot was taken from the future through a time machine and the caveman was frozen in ice until Patchy thawed him out. Initially, they don't get along too well, but by the episode's end they get along just fine and even break out into song for their newfound friendship.
- Left the Background Music On: As SpongeGar gets the idea to use fire to cook, a chorus plays in the background. As the camera cuts repeatedly from SpongeGar to the fire to the cooked coral, there is a brief cut of a live-action barbershop quartet singing the chorus.
- My Significance Sense Is Tingling: While Patchy and Potty argue, back in Bikini Bottom, SpongeBob senses that somewhere a pirate and a parrot are arguing... and the parrot is winning.
- One-Word Vocabulary: The prehistoric ancestors of Mr. Krabs can only say "Money".
- Out of Focus: Excluding his prehistoric counterpart, SpongeBob has no major role in this episode, as he only appears in a brief scene at the Krusty Krab in which he informs Mr. Krabs that he has the feeling that a pirate and parrot are arguing and the parrot is winning.
- Pet the Dog: At the end of the special, Potty decides to strike a compromise with Patchy by showing how both the future and the past can be cool.
- Ptero Soarer: Subverted. Patchy wanted Potty to dress up as a "Pottydactyl" for the special, but Potty refused to wear the (adorable) costume he made for him, instead opting to wear a jetpack and brag about how much better the future is than the past.
- The chanting and famous music from 2001: A Space Odyssey is parodied when SpongeGar realizes that he can use fire to cook food.
- A guy living in Encino, California thaws out a cave man.
- Significant Double Casting: Tom Kenny (who voices Spongebob) and Bill Fagerbakke (who voices Patrick) play the Robot and the Caveman respectively.
- Stock Dinosaurs: A T. rex appears at the end of the special. In the opening of the first half of the animated portion, a Pteranodon can be seen flying over the island. On the opening titles, the clamshells are replaced with trilobites. Finally, the pterosaur costume Patchy made for Potty appears to be modeled after Rhamphorhynchus.
- Stock Footage: The opening shots of prehistoric Bikini Bottom are taken from "SB-129".
- Trip Trap: When the prehistoric versions of Spongebob, Squidward and Patrick are fighting over the burning log, Squidward trips an unknowing Patrick on the run with his legs while hiding in the bushes.
- Tyrannosaurus rex: One turns out to be Potty's "present from prehistoric times" for Patchy.
- The Unintelligible: SpongeGar, Patar and Squog speak in a primitive caveman language, except for one instance where Squog says "Wait a minute..."
- What If?: Squog gets mad at the giant prehistoric Gary for leaving a huge trail of slime all around his house. Squog goes outside to confront the behemoth snail, but stops to consider what if he really did so and realizes the snail has the ability (and willingness) to pulverize him flat for accosting. So Squog decides to lecture SpongeGar instead, but the latter has no clue what he's upset about.